Everything we do in life is a choice.
We might not have control over much else happening around us but our choices are most definitely something we have control over.
We can choose our thoughts, actions, behaviours, focus and responses. We can choose whether to listen to the crowds, the judgements and the naysayers or we can choose to ignore them all and do whatever we want to do in life that brings us joy and fulfilment. We can choose to trust our gut, instinct, knowledge and experience or we can choose to ignore them. Either way, whatever our choice, results in the actions we do or do not take to move forward and grow in life and become the people we want to be.
We are solely responsible for our choices and we have to accept the consequences of every action, word and thought throughout our lifetime.
This week, I have had several conversations with my class about choosing and owning behaviour and understanding that there is a reward or consequence as a result. On one particular day, before heading to another classroom, I reminded the kids about the choices and the potential outcomes. One of the boys sighed, dropped his shoulders and mumbled "Oh no." As I was taken by surprise, I asked if he was planning on making poor choices and he replied no but that it might be really hard to not get in trouble. I get it. Kids are kids. Kids get distracted by friends. Teachers are trying to get through assessments. So time is valuable and patience is decreased. But it really is all about choice. So I simply replied by telling him - he has to back himself. He has to trust that he has the ability to make good choices. Is it okay to be reminded? Of course? But again, after that point, you probably don't want to be reminded too many times! So trust that you have what it takes. Everyone in the room could see it in him except himself. (To which the kids nodded and responded emphatically to him). We told him, we all believed and trusted he had it in him and could make the right choices, as we did for everyone else in the room. All he had to do was trust himself.
It seems like it should be common sense and something we could do easily but I find, in my experience, the more people I talk to, the more I find this is something we all struggle with from time to time.
If not you, then who?
Often we have this idea or we make a decision or we are doing something amazing and we just don't recognise how amazing we actually are! We don't trust our skills or talents or experience or knowledge. We don't trust that we are always the right person for the situation or getting the job done. But wherever we are at today - we are in the right place. Don't you think it's about time we started backing ourselves? Yes...there are lots of people who could potentially do the same project or make similar choices to you in any given situation. But they are not you. We each bring something unique to every situation we are in. We all have something in us that no one else has. We all interact slightly differently to the situation or people around us and bring qualities out in others that other people can't in the same way. If you don't step up, trust yourself and take the step forward, then who will? The world is going to miss out on what you can bring if you don't start trusting.
If not now, then when?
When is NOW the right time? This question was asked at a course I attended a few years back. We are so good at saying - 'When I have more skills' or 'When I am better at this' or 'When I look better or feel better about myself' or 'He/She will do a better job' or 'They have more experience than me'...the list could go on! I have used all of these for so many years. The consequence of saying these things - We never know how great we could potentially be! Are we likely to mess up? Yep! Are people likely to judge and criticize and confirm our fears by questioning why we are doing what we are doing? Absolutely yes! Does it actually matter? Nope, No, Definitely not! The world is waiting for your greatness. The world is waiting for you to show up as you with all of your perfect imperfections and say 'Here I am! Watch me try!' But we wait...and we wait....for what we 'think' is the 'right time'. Let me share a little secret with you...one you probably already know anyway! When is NOW the right time? Now! Right now.
We are so conditioned to not trust our own judgements, I think we have forgotten what it feels like or sounds like. Here are the things I am (still :D) working on in order to trust myself to bring my best self to the world around me.
Be okay with the choices
Some days we crush it completely. Other days...well, you know those days - when you wonder what on earth you were thinking when you decided to do that? Some choices you are so proud of and then there will be others that you will question. Be okay on the days when you know you could have made better choices. Learn the lesson and figure out how to do it better tomorrow or next time.
We often talk about how some people are so much more confident than ourselves, therefore, they are able to do...this or that. Have you ever said, "I couldn't possibly do that! I don't have the confidence to do...They are so much more confident than me!"? Yep. Me too. But confidence is not something we are actually born with. Confidence is something that we generate. Like energy in a powerplant. The more we actually do something, the more competent we feel, the more confident we become. When we feel more confident, we do more, we step out more, we face fear more. In order to feel more successful or to feel more joy, we need to generate more confidence and we do that by feeling the fear and doing it anyway. The more we do, the more confidence we generate. The less we do, the more we sit back and pass it over to someone else, the less we trust ourselves to just stand up and go for it, the less confidence is generated.
Who do you think you are?
We hold ourselves back from doing things, we make choices to either move forward or stay where we are not based on circumstances or the situation alone. We make our choices to do things based on who we think we aren't, not on who we think we are. " I am not smart enough, good enough, tall enough, rich enough, old enough, young enough, skinny enough..." This is who we think we aren't. This is the stuff that stops us from trusting ourselves. Every single day, we need to unlearn all of those ways that hold us back. Every single day, we need to make the choices based on who we want to become. It is not who we think we are that stops us from trusting ourselves, it is who we think we are not.
Stop Beating Yourself Up!
Oh, this is such a big one for me! How often do we make the choices based on who we think we aren't, don't take the action or make the choices we wanted to and then beat ourselves up for knowing we could have done things differently? Stop fighting yourself. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Accept where you are right now and let this motivate you to let go of all of the things that are holding you back, in order to fully grasp your future self. The world needs you. The people around you need you to back yourself and bring your best self every day. If it all falls apart...that's okay too. Don't be afraid of falling apart. Don't beat yourself up for not having it all together. Those moments are beautiful opportunities to rebuild yourself exactly the way you want to.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. They are on a different journey. Stop comparing your first chapter to someone else's 10th chapter! Comparing yourself is a battle in the mind that you can never ever win! Like I said earlier - no one else is you! You bring something unique to the world. That's your power! That's what makes the world such a beautiful and interesting place.
Your only limit is YOU. The world needs you to back yourself and step up and out and bring your own beautiful unique self.
Until next week....have the most joyful week!
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